The Zesitmate hit in 2006 with the polarizing force of a thousand Sheens.
Consumers loved it. Realtors hated it.
But everybody was on it.
This metric, this number, inaccurate though it was, stuck to our psyches like burrs on a sock.
It took the measure of the homeowner’s destruction, the seller’s struggle with reality and the buyer’s appetite for blood.
Zillow built an audience of millions on the Zestimate. And then they buried it.
Look for a moment at the new Zillow home page:
“Zestimate” appears in two places, in small font – not even in black.
Zillow may have done this for a lot of reasons. It’s possible I am way off base, but here’s my take:
Zestimate pages – where the user is taken when they enter an address in search of a home value – aren’t Zillow’s Money Pages.
The Money Pages are the pages on your site on which the conversion action you seek from the user is most likely to take place.
In Zillow’s case, that action is a click, call, email or brand impression for one of their advertisers.
Those actions are most likely to take place on an active listing page, not a Zestimate page. Sure, an advertiser like Citibank or Lowes may get some value off these pages, but I suspect their value to agents and brokers is marginal.
The other Money Pages are the mortgage rate results page.
Therefore “Find Homes” and “Find Mortgage Rates” dwarf Zestimates on the new home page.
What’s your Money Page?
Zillow gets the user to the pages that make them money as fast as possible. Do you do that as well as you should?
If you’re a broker, chances are the vast majority of your leads come from your listing detail pages.
But does your site look like this?
You may be thinking “But we have property search right on our home page”
I’m sure you do. But what else litters the pathway your visitor takes to get to there?
Consider this quote from Neil Hunt, Chief Product Officer at Netflix:
“A user brings a finite quantity that they will spread around according to what catches their attention. I call them “attentrons”. An extra tab or button will attract a bunch of attentrons that are not then available to focus on other areas. So the tab had better be *better* than the competing areas of the site to avoid diluting the results, or it’s better off removed.”
Everything you place on your home page that’s not directly tied to your Money Pages has a cost. Some are worth paying for; others will cost you everything you set out to do in the first place.
Zillow had a home run with the Zestimate. But the price of keeping it prominently on the home page likely got pretty steep. It went.
How many foul balls sitting on your home page are you paying for right now?